OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS
A Part of
SHELBY COUNTY, OHIO
History & Genealogy
History of Shelby County, Ohio
Evansville, Ind. -
1913 - 947 pgs.
THE TOWNSHIPS (I)
Historical Sketches of
Cyhthian and Dinsmore Townships - Organization - Early
Settlement - Villages - Schools - Churches, Etc.
which lies southeast of the geographical center of Shelby
county, was at first organized as a part of Miami county,
in which, as elsewhere stated, the whole of Shelby county
was formerly included. It still however retains its
original name. It is bounded north by Franklin, east
by Salem, Perry and Orange, south by Orange and Washginton
and west by Washington and Turtle Creek townships.
The territory embraces portions of town 8, range 6; town
1, range 7; town 1, range 13, and town 7, range 6.
This comprises sections and fractional sections 1, 2, 3,
4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 19, 22, 23,24, 25 26, 27, 30, 34, 35, 36
and 3 and 10 repeated being of different towns or ranges.
Sine its organization the township has undergone numerous
territorial adjustments and readjustments, account of
which may be found in the report of the county
Clinton township is drained by the Great Miami
River, which enters at the northeast corner and flows
south by west, and then, running southwest, becomes for a
distance of about two miles the boundary line between
Clinton and Orange township. Side by side with the
river flows the Miami feeder with its water supply, which
it carries to the canal at Lockington. Tawawa creek
enters the Miami opposite Sidney, coming from the east,
while another small tributary, flowing in the same
direction, joins the large stream about a mile south of
the mouth of the Tawawa. Three small streams enter
the Miami from the west within the bounds of the township.
The township is crossed north and south by the Cincinnati,
Hamilton & Dayton Railroad, and east and west by the
Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad, which
two roads cross at Sidney, the county seat, the town lying
on the west side of the Miami. The canal leaves the river
for a certain distance in order to pass through the
central portion of the town. The chief importance of
Clinton lies in its possession of the county seat, which
attracts population, though throughout the township
farming is carried on extensively and the inhabitants in
general are prosperous.
The lands bordering on the Miami river are in
particular noted for their fertility. The surface is
broken, rolling away Westward; and while not jagged or
precipitous, is still broken and even hilly along the
river. The Infirmary farm comprises the extreme southwest
quarter of land in this township, being the southwest
quarter (160 acres) of section 10, range 6, town. 7.
MATTERS OF RECORD
At an election held in the township of Clinton by order of
James Wells, Esq., auditor of Shelby county, on the
25th day of October, 1821, agreeably to notice given, the
following township officers were elected:
Trustees, Philip Coleman, Robert McClure, and
Rufus Carey. Clerk, Harvey B. Foote.
Overseers of the poor, John Tilbury and
James Forsythe, Fence viewers, William
Drake and Benjamin Mapes. Treasurer,
Thomas Lambert appeared and gave bond,
with William Drake and Thomas W.
Ruckman, conditioned as the law directs, and was
duly qualified to perform the duties of constable for
Clinton township according to law, November 3, 1821.
Monday, March 4, 1822. The trustees met according to
law, and agreeably to order of court of the 4th of
February they proceeded to select W. Cecil, Jacob
Sclosser, Wm. Johnston, Philip Coleman, Rufus Carey,
Nathan Coleman, and Elias Carey as grand
jurors (7), and also John Tilbury,
Archibald Defrees, Robert Blakeley,
John Whitmire, and John Johnston
as petit jurors (5), to serve the ensuing year, the list
thereof returned to the clerk's office the same day.
The trustees allow B. S. Cox $1.00 for services as
clerk of the first township election in this township;
order given on treasurer.
John Lenox, supervisor for district No.
6, Turtle Creek township, as appointed by the trustees
before the township was divided, made his return. and
charges nothing for his services. Return filed.
Ordered, that it (the township) be divided into three
'districts (road); Sidney, No. 1: Plum Creek, No. 2; and
Mile Creek, No. 3. No. 1 to work the road from the ford
below Ruckman's mill to the public square in Sidney, the
road leading to Hardin, and the one from Dingmansburg to
Sidney. No. 2 to work the road from the public square on
the road that leads up the river past Wm. Johnston's
and Talbert's to the township line, and the Plum
Creek road to the township line. No. 3 to work the road
that leads from Sidney past Rufus Carey's to
the township line, and the road from where it intersects
the aforesaid road leading past Mr. Levalley's
as far as the township line. John Blake
supervisor district No. 1, N. Coleman of district No. 2,
and a supervisor to be elected in No. 3.
Ordered that the clerk advertise according to law for
an election to be held on the first Monday next to elect
one clerk, three trustees, two overseers of the poor, two
fence viewers, two appraisers, one of whom shall be lister
as well as appraiser, one treasurer, two constables, and
three supervisors, to serve the ensuing year (1822) for
the township of Clinton. A true record.
Attest. Harvey B. Foote, Twp. Clerk.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE..
|1823 - Williams, Elisha
1825 - Coleman, J. H.
1825 - McCreight, John
1831 - Coleman, James H.
1834 - Lenox, John
1835 - McGrew, E.
1837 - Stuart, Alex
1837 - McCullough, Sam
1838 - Stuart, Alex.
1840 - McCullough, Sam
1840-1 - John Shaw - resigned
1841 - Frazer, J. F.
1841 - Stuart, Alex
1843 - McCullough, Sam
1844 - Frazer, J. F.
1844 - Wilkin, Stephen (never qualified)
1846 - Byers, J. H.
1846 - Robinson, Fred
1847 - Frazer, J. F.
1848 - Nutt, Irwin
1849 - Robinson, F
1850 - Frazer, J. F.
1851 - Hale, M. C.
1852 - Robinson, I. F.
1853 - Frazer, J. F.
1854 - Walker, Wm. D.
1855 - Newman, M. B. (resigned Mar. 8, 1857)
1855 - Robinson, F.
1856 - Frazer, J. F.
1857 - Hale, M. C.
1857 - Rinehart, D. B.
1859 - Frazer, J. F.
1860 - Hale, M. C.
1860 - Rinehart, D. B.
1862 - Mathers, Samuel.
1863 - Hale, M. C.
1864 - Robertson, A. J.
|1865 - Mathers, Sam
1866 - Hale, M. C.
1867 - Frazer, J. F.
1868 - Leckey, S. Alex.
1869 - Hale, M. C.
1870 - Nutt, Irwin (resigned July 2, 1870)
1870 - Rebstock, A. J.
1871 - Leckey, A. A.
1872 - Hale, Mathew C.
1874 - Guthrie, Harvey
1874 - Rebstock, A. J.
1875 - Hale, M. C. & Hume, H.
1876 - Hatfield, S. J.
1878 - Hale, M. C.
1878 - Buch, Daniel L.
1881 - Stephenson, J. G.
1881 - Bush, D. L.
1881 - Bunnelle, Geo. H.
1884 - Hale, Mathew C.
1884 - Wyman, Wm. C.
1887 - Hale, M. C.
1887 - Wyman, W. C.
1890 - Ailes, H. S.
1893 - Ailes, H. S.
1893 - Wyman, Wm. C.
1896 - Hale, M. C.
1896 - Nessler, Chas. W.
1899, Wyman, Wm. C.
1899, Nessler, Chas. W.
1902 - Conklin, J. W.
1902 - Hale, M. C.
1904-1905 - Higgins, Ben D.
1905 - Elliott, G. W.
Appointed Apr. 24, 2907 until successor elected -
Hess, C. R.
1908 - Hess, C. R.
1908 - Needles, Emanuel
1911 - Needles, E.
1911 - Hess, C. R.
township clerk of Clinton in is Karl F. Young.
Trustees - William Salm, F. M. Hussey and George
Cynthian township is one of the west tier of
townships. It is oblong in form, contains 32 sections and
extends four miles north and south and eight miles east
and west. McLean township bounds it on the north, Turtle
Creek on the. east and Loramie on the south, while Darke
county lies on its western boundary.
Cynthian has a more rolling surface than any other
township in the county. Its soil varies, in some parts
being clay while in others black loam and sand are found.
Its fine gravel beds furnish excellent material for
highway construction. Almost centrally from north to south
flows Loramie creek, other streams being Buffalo run,
Lawrence creek and Salt Lick. Close-to and parallel with
Loramie creek runs the Miami' and Erie canal and Great and
South Panther creeks empty into it from the east. The
farms and residences throughout the township present
abundant evidences of prosperity on the part of its
There is evidence that Cynthian township attracted
settlers as early as 1815. In that year Thomas Butt,
John Wise and Conrad Pouches had
established themselves with their families, but it is
still a question which came first. Nevertheless they
soon had other neighbors for between that date and 1824
the following pioneers—some from the older states and
others from countries across the sea—took up their
residences in the township: Leonard and Tobias
Danner, Henry Hershaw, Zachariah
Hurley, John and Alexander Miller,
Samuel and Benjamin Leighty, Jacob
Seerfauss, John Barker, John
Gates; C. Stoker, William Hicks,
George Harman, William Jerome,
Charles Lovell, George Moyer,
Jacob, John and Andrew Wise,
Robert Steen, J. Shagley,
Robert Chambers and John Borden.
As in other sections, the pioneers in Cynthian township
lived at first in log cabins and while these primitive
dwellings were adequate to their early needs, as they grew
more prosperous, frame houses were erected, which still
later gave place to those of stone and brick. The
first frame house in the township was erected on the
present site of Newport by Josias Reaser but
he did not, apparently, occupy it, selling it to Cyrus
Reese. George Butt was the first to
build a brick house, probably burning the brick on his own
land. A saw mill—one of the first necessities—was
built by Conrad Pouches, and a
tannery—another desirable enterprise in a pioneer
settlement—was started by Stephen Blanchard.
William Mills was the first blacksmith and
in the villages which rapidly grew, other lines of
business were started so that, within the first quarter of
a century from the time of settlement, civilized
conditions prevailed all over the township. Very early the
people began to agitate the "subject of schools and the
first building especially dedicated to the cause of
education was built on land owned by Jacob Wise.
The United Brethren appear to have been the first here in
the religious field. Originally this township belonged to
Loramie but was detached in 1822. The first township
election was held at the house of Alexander
Miller, July 4, 1822.
towns—North Port, Newport, Cynthian and Basinburg—have
been platted at different times in the township's history.
North Port—The plat of North Port
(incorporated into Newport?) contained twenty lots and
was located on the west half of northeast quarter of
section 30, town. 10, range 5 east and was surveyed for
Richard Short, its proprietor, in June, 1839.
It was laid out with four streets: Main, North. Elm and
Newport was surveyed and platted
in the same year as North Port, for Nicholas
Wynant. It is situated in section 30, on the Miami and
Erie canal and at present has about 140 inhabitants the
population having decreased considerably in the last
twenty-five years. The first frame house as mentioned
above was located-here and was used as a hotel by Cyrus
Reese, who built a second one in which he conducted a
grocery store. Pilliod Brothers, C. Belt
and John Link, were early business men here
and E. Pilliod operated the first steam saw and
grist mill. In 1881 O. O. Mathers, of
Sidney, established the Newport Flax Mill, which he
operated in connection with the Sidney Flax Mill. This
mill is still standing but has not been operated for a
number of years.
Cynthian—On September 14, 1819, a
town was platted, surveyed and recorded, at the Loramie
crossing, in section 30, on land which subsequently was
owned by the Sweigert family. It was named Cynthian
village and a few-lots were sold but not enough to make
possible a village organization. In 1825 all hope of this
was dissipated and the land was purchased by William
Mills, who devoted it to agricultural purposes.
Basinburg—There was a time when
Basinburg had prospects of becoming a considerable
business and social, center for the township but progress
was slow and its village organization is no longer
evident. It was laid out in 1839 by Herman Mier
in the northwest quarter of section 18, town. 10, range 5
east, the plats showing sixty-five lots, the sixty-fifth
being donated to the citizens as a site for a church
edifice. Its main streets were Main, Canal, Basin, Water,
East and South Lane.
Oran, formerly a postoffice, is.
now a settlement of about thirty-eight people, located on
the line between sections 27 and 28, and receives mail
The people of Cynthian township are well supplied with
school facilities, there being eight special school
districts, the officials of these being selected from
among the leading men of the township. Hope well special
school district's officers for 1911 and 1912: S. M.
Winemiller, president; F. B. Miller, clerk,
William Wiley, treasurer, and Charles
Snow and Nathan. Cromes, in 1911, the
only change in 1912 being that Henry Bodemiller
took the place of Nathan Cromes. Grisez
special school district for 1911 had John P. Lallemand
for president; John Grisez for clerk;
Henry Achbach for treasurer, with Blaize
Cardo and Philip Cardo as other
members of the board. The officers and members for 1912
were: Jesse Barder, president; John
Grisez, clerk; J. P. Lallemand, treasurer,
and? Xavier Cardo and Henry
Achbach. Turner special school district's board
of education for 1912: Henry Sherman,
president; Peter Eilerman, clerk; Frank
Turner,: treasurer, and N. A. Paulus,
William Kloeker and Jacob Batty.
Basinburg special school district in 1911 had
John Swartz as president, Michaei Loy,
clerk, Henry Harrod, treasurer, and
Joseph H. Kessler and John Martz,
while in 1912 the board was as follows: J. H.
Kessler, president; Michael Loy, clerk;
Henry Harrod, treasurer, and Frank
Lindhaus, John Lengerich and Joseph
Wurtz. Short special school district board
for 1911 had Henry Eilerman for president;
Henry Holscher for clerk; Charles
Broerman for treasurer and G. W.
Short and Joseph Winner, no change being
made in 1912, except that John C. Short took the
place of Joseph Winner. Forest?
special school district for 1911 elected J. H.
Rhodehamel as president of its board; Charles
C. Snyder, clerk, David A. McKinstry
for treasurer and Robert and Leander Wright
as the other members. In 1912 the officials and members
were: Leander Wright, William
Jelly and W. W. Widener, the same officials
serving. Oran special school district's board of education
for 1912 had D. W. Christman .as president;
George Wyatt as treasurer; E. J. Enyart
as clerk, with David Swab and, A. Fagan
as other members. Other school statistics may be found in
the chapter on education.
Methodist Episcopal Church—In 1872 through
the efforts of Dr. Reaner and Mrs.
Henry Sweigart, a Sunday school was organized
at Newport, which developed into the Methodist Episcopal
church at that place.. A brick edifice was completed in
the fall of 1873, the congregation then under the
ministerial charge of Rev. Rauch. In spite
of the decreased population of the village this church has
maintained its organization and. has always been active in
Christian work. Rev. Parker is the present
Oran Christian Church-This church originally
known as Cynthian Christian church, was founded in
1833, its first members being Samuel Penrod
and wife, Isaac Short and
wife, Isaac Mann, and George and
Samuel Butt and their wives. A church building
was erected in 1851 and the congregation is now presided
over by Rev. Cain.
The Loramie German Baptist church was organized
in 1848 and for a number of years the faithful gathered at
stated times in private houses and in the Christian
church. In 1865 the membership in the township was
augmented by a number who came from other, sections and in
the next year an edifice for church purposes was erected
and this society was known until 1877 as the North Branch
of the Covington Society. In that year they became a
separate congregation, Rev. Jacob
Hollinger being elected the first minister.
The United Brethren have a church in this
township and there is also a Dunkard church, presided over
by Rev. McCokle.
St. Peter's and St. Paul's Catholic church at
Newport was erected in 1856, and the same structure is
still standing. It has been kept in good repair, and is
now a modern structure and a church of which its members
should feel proud.
JUSTICES OF THE
Between 1835 and 1910, Cynthian township has
been served by fifty-three of its representative citizens
in the office of justice of the peace, a list of the same
being herewith given:
|1835 - Penrod, Michael
1837 - Miller, John
1838 - Hale, George
1840 - Miller, John
1841 - Short, Isaac
1843 - Miller, John
1844 - Murphy, G. G.
1846 - Clawson, Josiah
1847 - Gloyd, H.
1847 - Murphy, G. G.
1848 - Miller, John
1853 - Gloyd, Harry
1854 - Skillen W. W.
1855 - Johnston, James R.
1858 - Short, Isaac
1859 - Chrisman, J. S.
1861 - Short, Isaac
1862 - Pilliod, Eugene
1864 - Short, Isaac
1865 - Pilliod, Eugene
1867 - Merrick, M.
1868 - Short, Isaac
1869 - Barker, George
1871 - Pilliod, Eugene
1871 - Mann, Charles
1874 - Huston, Edward
|1874 - Mann, Charles
1877 - Huston, Edward
1877 - Mills, N. W.
1877 - Leckey, A. H.
1880 - Foust, Julius
1880 - Turner, Francis
1883 - Luckey, A. H.
1883 - Turner, Frank
1886 - Carpenter, John
1888 - Moorman, Frank (resigned in 1889)
1889 - Mann, Charles
1890 - Marshall, Anthony
1890 - Foust, Benjamin F.
1892 - Carpenter, G. W.
1893 - Harrop, R.
1893 - Foust, B. F.
1889 - Sweigert, E. B.
1899 - Nisewonger, O. W.
1902 - Withringham, J. F.
1902 - Turner, F. H.
1903 - Galley, J. P.
1906 - Spraley, Wilbur
1906 - Pickering, John H.
1909 - Short, H. H.
1910 - Emert, J. F.
present township clerk is E. B. Swigert.
Trustees: Joseph Barhorst, Nathan Cromes and
township was very late in its settlement and organization,
its development was steady and its progress, along every
line, rapid. It boasts of the two most important towns in
the county, aside from the county seat, in Botkins and
Anna, although the latter is partly in Franklin township.
It is regular in its outline, being six miles square, and
is centrally located in the northern tier of townships of
Shelby county, its north line being bounded by Auglaize
county. The commissioners' records show the township to
have been independently organized on December 3, 1832.
Pursuant to an order by the commissioners of the county,
the citizens of the township met at the home of Joseph
Green, December 25, 1832, and elected the various
Dinsmore township is level, practically speaking, and
the soil is such as to attract agriculturists, being well
adapted for the growing of the various grains and grasses.
It is drained by a number of small streams which take
their rise in the township. It seems the first real
settlement was made here in. 1832, which marked the
arrival of a number of families, but it is reasonably
certain some located farms here the previous year, notably
William Blakely, of Franklin county, Ohio,
and Silas D. Allen, of Pickaway county, Ohio. There
has always been a diversity of opinion as to who was' the,
first to take up residence within the township, many
according the honor to George Turner, who
came from Greene county, Ohio, in 1832. The latter did not
remain long at that time, owing to the prevalence of milk
sickness, but in 1837 again returned but took up a
different farm. Mr. Turner was followed, in the
same year, by Joseph Green, from Warren
county, Ohio, who with his wife and five children; located
on a farm in section 28; on a part of which the village of
Anna is partly located; John Munch, of
Greene county, Ohio, whose farm also lay in section 28,
and was partly included in the village of Anna; Richard
C. Dill, of Hamilton county, Ohio, who brought his
wife and eleven children; Samuel Blakeley,
of Franklin county, Ohio, who came here from Franklin
township where he had settled in 1830; and Richard
Botkin, who came from Hamilton county, Ohio. The
following year, 1833, witnessed the arrival of: Alfred
Staley, of Montgomery county, Ohio; Hector
Lenion, of Chester county, Pennsylvania: Joseph
Park, of New Jersey; Erasmus B. Toland, of
Miami county, Ohio; Philip Good, who came
from Greene county, Ohio, but was a native of
Pennsylvania; and Philip Hagelberger, a
native of France. In 1834, there came: Jacob
Wilford, his wife and five children, from Virginia;
Philip Brideweiser, from Franklin county, Ohio;
David Taylor, his wife and eight children,
from Greene county, Ohio; Peter Boling and
family, from Montgomery county, Ohio; William
Ellis and family from Virginia; Frederick
Oxburger, of Germany; and Samuel and William
Elliott, who located in section 4; Thomas
Iiams and family came from Warren county, Ohio, in
1835; Cornelius Elliott, of Licking county,
Ohio, in 1835; Daniel Toland, of Montgomery
county, Ohio, in 1836; William H. Abbott, in 1836;
John Fahr, of Perry county, Ohio, in 1838;
and Diedrich Schulte. in 1838. This is by no
means regarded as an exhaustive, list of those who came
during the period mentioned, but time has thoroughly
obscured facts once so easy to obtain. Settlement was
quite backward in the early years, largely because of milk
sickness, but became very general in the forties, and as a
whole those who came were of a wholesome and progressive
was the first justice of the peace of whom there is
record, the year of his election being 1835, and he was
succeeded in turn by Richard Botkin, in
1837; Henry Hildebrant, in 1838; John
Elliott, in 1839; Richard Botkin,
1840; John Elliott, 1842; Elias
Horner, 1842; Samuel Elliott, 1843;
John Elliott, 1845; Jacob Wilford,
1846; John Elliott, 1848; E. F. Mede,
1849; John Elliott, 1854; Jacob
Wilford, 1855; Samuel Elliott, 1855;
Joseph Hildebrant, 1858; Sarauel_Elliott,
1860;. Samuel Elliott, 1803; D. E. Morgan,
1864; Isaac G. Stafford, 1866; D. E. Morgan,
1867; Samuel Elliott, 1869; P. Hunt,
1870; Samuel Elliott, 1872; P. Hunt,
1873; Samuel Elliott, 1875; William
Munford, 1878: P. Hunt, 1879; Lewis
Applegate, -1881; S. Wilken, 1882;
J. M. Carson, 1882; S. Wilken, 1885;
R. B. Dill, 1888; J. B. Stolly, 1888; J. B.
Stolly, 1891; R. B. Dill, 1891; George
W. Hensel, 1892; J. B. Greve, 1894
George W. Hensel, 1895; J. B. Greve, 1897;
George W. Hensel, 1898; J. B. Greve,
1900; M. A. Roth, 1901; George W. Hensel,
1910 ; George W. Hensel, 1904; M. A. Roth,
1904; J. B. Stolly, 1908; George W. Hensel,
1908; George W. Hensel, 1910; and J. B. Stolly,
1912.. At the present time, LeRoy F. Hemmert, of
Botkins, is township clerk, and the trustees are Jacob
J. Fogt, John B. Schulte and Frank J.
Farming has generally claimed the attention of the
rural residents of Dinsmore township, and such industries
as have been fostered have been mainly in the villages.
There was in earlier years considerable sawing done, but
timber, too quickly disappeared for that industry to be
other than a small one here. A very successful plant,
established in Dinsmore, on the William P. Davis
farm, in 1871, was a tile yard which was given the name of
the Montra Tile Yards, being three-fourths of a mile west
of Montra. It was started by William P. Davis and
M. Merkling and was operated by them some years
before passing into other hands.
In 1849 a saw mill was established in section 26,
operated by a forty-horse power engine. Silas D. Allen
and George Duff, the original owners, conducted it
until the death of the former in June, 1850, after which
the latter carried on the business until in 1851. He then
sold a half interest to Michael Fogt and the firm
of Duff & Fogt continued for several years. It was
then operated by several owners until 1861, then existed
in a state of disuse until it was finally torn down. In
1874, Messrs. L. Davis and J. C. Linton
established what was long known as the Linton steam saw
mill, they conducting it in partnership until 1878, when
Mr. Linton conducted it alone. The business was
discontinued here many years ago, the proprietors moving
to Dayton, Ohio.
The citizens got together in the organization of a
branch of the Patrons of Husbandry, Estey Grange, No. 924,
being organized May 25, 1874, by Deputy Johnson.
It originally had twenty-four members and experienced a
The first regular
school in the township was conducted in • a crude log
structure, about twenty feet square, with puncheon floor
and seats. A large fire-place extended the full width of
the building, on one side, and there was a stick chimney
and a one-light window. It was built in 1836 and the first
teacher there was William D. Johnson. A second
building of similar type, except as to windows, was built
in section 23 in 1840, and here William Wilson
and E. T. Mede were early teachers. The third
schoolhouse, also log, was erected in section 14, and
became known as the Beck schoolhouse, the first teacher
there being James Beck. The buildings of the next
period represented the advancement from the round log to
the hewed log and frame type, and were variously located
throughout the township. A uniform plan of locating them
came into being, a building being erected in the center of
every four sections, thus making nine schools. An
additional school was established for the colored
children, but in 1870 race segregation was abolished. As
new school laws came into effect, the districts were much
changed from time to time. More detail with regard to the
schools may be found in the chapter on Education.
station on the C. H. & D. Railway, was surveyed for
John L. and Fletcher S. Thirkield, in
1867, and lies in Dinsmore and Franklin townships. The
name, Anna, was given it in honor of Mrs. Anna
Thirkield. It is a prosperous place, the last census
showing its population to be 460, and it is steadily
growing. The plat of the town was recorded April 25, 1868,
and in 1877 a petition was presented to the board of
county commissioners for its incorporation as a village,
the signers being: A. Glason, F. S. Thirkield, Lewis
Kah, P. W. Young, J. D. Elliott and thirty-two others.
The petition was granted June 26, 1877, and recorded as
granted September 3, 1877. The first board of councilmen
consisted of L..Kah, M. Norcross, A. Clason, M.
Billings, Dr. Lefevre, and J. Weatherhead. The
first mayor was L. Applegate, and the other first
officers were: J. C. Koverman, marshal; Dodfrey
Kembbld, treasurer ; and F. W. Stork, clerk.
The first postmaster was F. S. Thirkield, but his
service long antedated the incorporation of the village.
Anna has an adequate fire department, the equipment
consisting of a gas engine, hose cart and ladder. The
present mayor of the town is R. D. Curtner.
Among the principal commercial industries of Anna are
the following: H. C. Hagelberger, clothing,
tailoring and gents' furnishings; business established
nine years ago; R. D. Mede, stoves, tinware, tinners'
supplies, metal work, roofing, buggies and carriages;
Mr. Mede has been established in business here for the
past thirty years, and in addition to the commercial lines
mentioned above, he is agent for the Oliver plows and
E. B. Ballinger & Company are conducting the
business established by J. L. Applegate,
thirty-nine years ago, the present business style being
assumed August 17, 1912. The concern deals in furniture,
carpets, mattings, linoleum, window shades, lace curtains,
curtain poles, and sewing machines. Mr. Ballinger
also conducts a business in undertaking and embalming.
A. Weller, druggist, also dealer in stationery, wall
paper, etc., has been established in Anna for the last
P. W. Young is dealer in general hardware,
farming implements, stoves, paints, oils, glass, etc. This
business was established forty-one years ago by Elliott
& Young; the former partner, Mr. Elliott, died
about twenty-five years ago.
The Farmers and Merchants Bank Company was established
in 1907 by parties from Columbus, Ohio. On May 29,1910, it
was incorporated by Daniel Runkle, R. D. Curtner,
William C. Heinrich, George D. Fridley and E. M.
Martin with a capital stock of $25,000. Its present
officers are: Daniel Runkle, president;
R. D. Mede, vice-president, and A. W. Fridley,
cashier. The directors last elected are: C. C. Toland,
J .W. A. Fridley, W. M. Runkle (since deceased), E. M.
Martin (not sworn in), R. D. Mede, Daniel Runkle-, and
George C. Schiff. The bank has undivided profits of
Finkenbein & Manning, dealers in grain, feed,
flour and, seeds, are proprietors of a grain elevator, the
present firm having been established January 1, 1912. The
business is an old one, having been established forty
years ag6 by K. H. Stock & Company, who were
succeeded by L. Finkenbein, who had been a partner
with Mr. Stock, and who conducted it for a number
of years. In 1895 it came into possession of L.
Finkenbein, Jr., which proprietorship was continued
until the present partnership was formed. The firm has an
adequate plant and is doing a successful business.
Martin Manufacturing Company are successors to
the William Johnson spoke factory. They are
now putting in new machinery and will engage in the
manufacture of staves.
Milton C. Fogt is conducting a prosperous hardware
business. Miss S. E. McCullough is proprietor of a
millinery and notion store. M. H. Ailes conducts a
general insurance business.
The grain business now carried on by C. C. Toland
was established fifty years ago, the elevator being built
at that time. John Thirkield conducted the
business for fifteen years, his successor being Frank
Thirkield, who was proprietor for about five years.
The property was. then leased to Farrington,
Saluson & Nelson, by whom it was carried on for
five or six years. The next proprietor was judge
Bowersox, of Sidney, from whom the business was bought
by C. C. Toland. The business was conducted for
some time as a partnership concern, under the style of
Toland & Ludwig, but about twelve years ago Mr.
Toland bought out his partner and has since been
sole proprietor. Mr. Toland deals m" grain,
seeds, salt, etc., and is doing a prosperous business.
Other business enterprises of Anna are Fred
Woehrle, groceries; George Fleckinstine,
drain tile; L. Finkenbein, groceries, dry goods,
notions, etc.; C. McVay & Son, livery, established
twenty-two years; B. F. Martin, notions, Mr.
Martin being the successor of his grandfather, R.
Martin, who established the business; Rembold
Brothers, W. T. and J. G., boots, shoes and
rubber goods, have been established four years, the
business haying been previously carried on for seven years
by W. J. Rembold alone.
is located on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway,
near the north boundary of Dinsmore township, was platted
as a village for Russell Botkin, who owned
the land, in July, 1858. It was certified by J. A.
Wells, surveyor, and acknowledged July 31, 1858. The
town became a prosperous trading center and had a steady
growth. It aspired to the dignity of an incorporated
village in 1881, a petition being filed with the county
commissioners on March 7, of that year. Although
strenuously fought by some of the citizens, through
remonstrance and protest filed, the proposition was
carried through, a majority of the people being in favor
of it. The petition was granted August 2, 1881, and was
recorded January 3, 1882. A special election was held, at
which the following officers were elected: P. W.
Speaker, mayor; H. H. Varner, clerk; F. M.
Hemmert, treasurer; J. B. Staller, marshal; and
John McMahon, Dr. G. M. Tate, Dr. P. K.
Clienhens, Alexander Botkin and J. B.
Hemmert, councilmen. Since then the growth of the
village .has been slow but steady. There has been no
marked "boom" but business in general has flourished and
the citizens are prosperous. Though some former industries
and commercial enterprises have passed out of existence
with, the mutations of time, others have taken their
places, and present conditions, on the whole, mark a
For a town of its size, Botkins has a very complete and
efficient fire department, with a good engine house. The
apparatus consists of a Howe gasoline engine, hook and
ladder wagon and hose cart with several thousand feet of
hose. There is also an old hand engine which can be used
when required. There is a good water supply, the water
being obtained from cisterns (50 by 25 feet), which are
sunk at convenient places on the streets. These cisterns
are supplied from an artificial lake, covering two acres
of ground and from twelve to fifteen feet deep, which is
owned by the corporation. The department consists of a
volunteer company numbering forty men, under the command
at the present time of Chief John Morris.
The Botkins Herald, a six-column quarto weekly, was
established about fifteen years ago by Adam E. Blakeley,
who conducted it until his death, in January, 1911. He was
then succeeded by his son, Lowell E. Blakeley, who
is the present proprietor. The paper is independent in
politics and has a considerable circulation throughout
this part of the county. A job printing office is run in
connection with the plant and does a good business. A new
cylinder press has recently been installed, and the office
is supplied with all the latest faces of job type. The
proprietor, Mr. Blakeley, is the present
postmaster of Botkins.
Among the principal commercial industries of Botkins at
the present time are the following: The Botkins Hardware
Company, John C. Koenig, proprietor, are dealers in
hardware, stoves, roofing, fence, pumps, buggies and
implements. The business was established by Mr.
Koenig about seven years ago and is in a flourishing
condition. The store is large and well supplied with an
ample and varied stock. H. W. Weigert & Company,
dealers in clothing, dry goods, shoes, groceries and
general merchandise, has been established about two years
ago and gives promise of a successful future. W. C.
Zaenglein & Brothers are proprietors of a
well-equipped department store. W. H. Brideweser,
dealer in harness, has been established in Botkins nearly
eighteen, years and is conducting a successful business.
Thomas Kennedy Implement Company deals in
hardware, stoves, wire fencing, fence posts, implements,
cement, lime, plaster, etc., and has been doing a
successful business for ten years or more. . William
Oppeman conducts a well-appointed livery stable.
F. G. Gutnian conducts a general store. J. H. M.
Schurr, undertaker and furniture dealer, is
successfully carrying-on the business established by his
father, Christian Schurr, twenty-four years ago.
B. A. Steinke is proprietor of a blacksmith shop.
There are also several other stores, including the
Blakeley Millinery, one or two barber shops and
several saloons. A saw mill has been conducted here for a
number of years by M. A. Roth, who also does ditch
contracting. The Paul & Shafer grain
elevator is an up-to-date concern and is doing a good,
business. The old mill was built by Taylor & Marx,
who were its proprietors for about five years, the
business then being bought by Mr. Shafer, who
conducted it under the style of Shafer Grain Co.
About a year later, July 6, 1911, it burned down, but in
the same year the erection of the present mill was begun
and in October, 1912, it was opened for business. In the
meanwhile, or July 1, 1912, Mr. Paul became a
partner with Mr. Shafer and the firm adopted its
present style of Paul & Shafer. The concern deals,
in-grain, seeds, salt, flour, coal and fence posts and
building tile, and are buyers and sellers of live stock.
The elevator is a commodious and up-to-date structure.
The Botkins Product Company was organized in the spring
of 1911, and was incorporated with a capital stock of
$5,000.. the following being the incorporators: J. M.
Sheets, Louis Zimmerman, H. E.
Sheets, Walter A. Looker and J. B. Reineke. J. M..
Sheets was elected president; Louis Zimmerman,
vice-president; H. E. Sheets, treasurer; and
Walter A, Looker secretary. The company was formed to
engage in the manufacture of "Kob Korn Krisp," the
parching of corn on the cob.
Sheets Manufacturing Company, of Botkins, was
established in 1903, by H. E. Sheets, who remains
sole proprietor of the business. The. concern has a large
factory well equipped with up-to-date woodworking
machinery and is engaged in the manufacture of bent rims
and spokes for wagons, implements, carriages and
automobiles. The factory contains 20,000 square feet of
floor space and employment is given to about eighty-five
men. About 10,000,000 feet of lumber is used annually,
most of which is worked from the log to the finished
product, the latter being shipped all. over the United
States, besides a considerable amount that is exported.
The Sheets Grain Company .was established about,
thirty years ago by Philip Sheets, who
continued the business until his death in 1905, when his
sons, E. S. and H. E. Sheets, continued the
business. The company handles grain, feed, seed, etc,
having an up-to-date elevator in Botkins, and also own
other elevators outside the county, namely, one at each of
the following places in Auglaize and Logan counties:
Wapakoneta, Lakeview, Waynesfield, Geyer and Gutman;
The Shelby County Bank was established at Botkins about
1897, by Philip Sheets, who conducted it as
sole proprietor until his death in 1905, after which time
the ^business passed into the hands of his sons, E. S.
and H. E. Sheets, who continued it as a private bank
until 1912. It was then incorporated, with a capital stock
of $25,000, with H. E. Sheets, president;
Philip. Sheets, Jr., vice-president, and E. S.
Sheets, cashier, which is the official board at the
present time, January, 1913.
M. A. Roth is proprietor of a saw mill
established several years, and is also engaged in ditch
civilizing agency we have, the church, was not long in
establishing itself, in fact before the township was more
than sparsely settled. Brief mention is here made of the
history of the various congregations:
St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation.—-One
of the most beautiful church edifices in the county is
that of St. Jacob's Evangelical Lutheran at Anna, which
was dedicated August 4, 1907. The birth of this church was
eighty years ago. in 1832, when a few Lutherans, strong in
their faith, settled in the virgin forest near Anna and
the. first preacher was the Rev. Henry Joesting,
whose parsonage was a log structure of one room, which
served as a residence, a sehoolhouse, and a place for
Sunday services. The names of John Altermath,
Michael Altermath, Louis Bey
and John Moothart, appear on the records,
and they were soon joined by Germans of like faith.
In the fall of 1833 their number was increased by
Philip Jacob Hagelberger, John
Fogt, John Jacob Finkenbein,
John Jacob Zimpher, Frederick
Knasel, Henry Breitweiser, Henry
Schaefer, Samuel Schaefer, and
Benjamin Werth, with their families. A log
church was erected in. 1835-36, thirty-six feet long and
twenty-four feet wide, for which the contractor, Jesse
Weistch, got $100 for his labor. The seats were
boards on trestles. It was built on the site which
afterwards was the Lutheran cemetery, David Swander
giving the land.
The first class was confirmed in 1836. The Rev.
George Klapp served the church from 1840 to 1844, the
Rev. Hursh till 1850, and the Rev.
Spangler followed with a pastorate of seven years.
The congregation outgrew their old log church of twenty
years and dedicated a new one October 21, 1855, which cost
$1,100. The church, made of brick, stood its ground for
seventeen years and eventually was torn down and used in
the building of a tile mill. The Rev. Christian
Sappes was pastor in 1857, followed by the Revs.
Gottfried Loewenstein, J. F. Grassie,
and John Bundenthal, and was followed by a
theological student from Columbus, from 1871 to 1877. The
brick church was' soon found too small for it was such a
Lutheran nest that if an inhabitant in that vicinity got
scratched the chanches were Lutheran blood was
spilt, so a frame structure 60 by 40 feet was built in
1870 and 1871 at a cost of $5,000.
Rev. John Michael Meissner served as pastor from
1877. to 1889,. the longest term in its history. He
baptized 303, mostly babies, for race suicide was not on
their program,-; and he confirmed no. The Rev. E. H. D.
Winterhoff took charge in 3889 and was succeeded by
the Rev. R. C. H. Lenski, the editor of the
Syhodical Journal. At the time the present church was
dedicated there had been during his pastorate of seven
years 200 baptisms and 210 confirmations, 33 of whom were
adults, making the number of communicants 550.
The sacred frame structure could not begin to hold the
crowds fired with Lutheran zeal, and so a building
committee consisting of the. pastor as chairman, George
C. Schiff, C. E. Fogt, C. C. Fogt and George
Hagelberger signed the contract with the builders,
Newmier and Hemmert, of Wapakoneta, for $17,490.70. The
architect was R. C. Gotwald, of Springfield. The
congregation was as harmonious as a colony of working
bees, after the drones had been disposed of, and as the
building progressed new and more extravagant ideas were
advanced and approved until everything was done to make
the interior of the church as artistic and perfect in its
appointments as one could wish. Could the early saints in
the Anna congregation be permitted to visit the earth
again they would almost wish to leave Heaven for awhile to
worship in so sweet a place. On Tuesday after the
dedication the Rev. Emanuel Poppen,
of Sidney, with 100 of his congregation, took charge of
the past dedicatory services, his wife bringing out the
possibilities of the new pipe organ with good effect.
The Rev. Lenski accepted a call to
Columbus in August, 1911, and was succeeded by the Rev.
C. J. Gohdus, who served a year and he was followed
December 8, 1912, by Rev. H. J. Schuh, the
present pastor, who came here from Pittsburg,
Pennsylvania, where he had served a pastorate of
twenty-eight years. The congregation now numbers 579
Botkins Methodist Episcopal
Church — The congregation of this church was in
existence some years before a church edifice was erected.
It was organized in 1833 or 1834 at the home of Richard
Botkin, by the Rev. Daniel D. Davidson,
assisted by Rev. James Smith. Among
the prominent early members were: Richard Botkin
and wife, Henry Hildebrant and wife,
Cornelius Montfort and wife, Cornelius
Elliott and wife, and Samuel Elliott
and wife. For several years services were held in
the home of Richard Botkin, and subsequently
in a log house, in Botkins until 1841, in which
year they erected a hewed log church, on ground donated
for that purpose by Richard Botkin. This was
in i860 replaced by a frame church, building, dedicated in
the fall of that year by the Rev. Wilson,
assisted by the local pastor, Patrick G. Goode. In
1881 they erected a substantial brick building at a cost
of $2,040, and this was dedicated June 18, 1882, by
Rev. J Watters, assisted by Rev. J. S. Ayers,
presiding elder of the Bellefontaine district. This church
has since maintained its organization and has a live
membership. Services are held Sunday afternoon and evening
alternately. The present pastor is Rev. J. W. Miller.
The Lutheran church, Botkins, Rev. A.
Pflenger, pastor, holds alternate services Sunday
mornings and evenings, with Sunday school in the forenoon.
Anna Methodist Episcopal church, originally
known as Mt. Gilead Methodist Episcopal church, was
organized at the home of Richard C. Dill, in 1833,
Rev. D. D. Davidson and Rev. James
Smith. Services were for some years held in the
homes of Mr. Dill and Joseph Park,
and from 1840 until the completion of a house of worship
in 1841, at the home of Mary J. Young. It was built
a quarter of a mile north of Anna, was of the hewed log
type, and served the congregation until a frame structure
was erected some years later, in the same vicinity. The
latter was dedicated in July, 1858, by Revs.
Wilson and P. G. Goode, the latter being then
pastor. Among the original members were Mrs. R. C.
Dill, Jane Dill, E. B. Toland and wife,
Thomas Iiams arid wife, Mrs. Forsha,
John Lucas and wife. The
present Methodist Episcopal church in Anna was dedicated
November 1, 1886. The church is a brick structure, with
slate roof, stained glass windows and having an audience
room, lecture room, and two class rooms. The regular
preaching services are held one Sabbath morning, the next
Sabbath morning and evening and so alternately. The church
now has 126 members. Rev. J. W. Miller is now in
his second year as pastor, having succeeded Rev. W. W.
Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception,
Botkins, Ohio.— The history of this congregation dates
back more than six decades, when a. few Roman Catholic
families settled in the vicinity of the present town of
Botkins. They were all German immigrants, and hence
possessed but scanty means wherewith they might contribute
toward the erection of a church, and the support of a
pastor. Missionaries, however, came at regular intervals
from surrounding well settled communities, and provided
for the spiritual wants of their poor brethren. Divine
service was held at first in the residences of some
families, later on in an old schoolhouse, and subsequently
in a log church, which finally was replaced by the present
church. The first church organization was formed in 1865,
and immediately preparations. were made and measures taken
for the erection of a suitable house of worship. Two years
afterwards in 1867 the zealous people of the congregation
worshiped for the first time in the new edifice. The
church, which had been erected at a cost of about $8,000,
is a handsome brick building of 85 by 45 feet, crowned by
a neat steeple. In 1875 the congregation purchased the
home of Andrew Gutman, which was first
occupied by the reverend pastor but later became residence
for the teachers. Clemens Huber, a pioneer
of the congregation, donated in 1878 two acres of land for
a new cemetery. The want of a school was provided for in
1881 by the purchase of the old Methodist Episcopal
church, which has received an annex at the cost of $800.
In 1887 the new parsonage, a two-story brick building, was
completed at a cost of $3,000. The church was remodeled
and highly embellished by the brush of the able artist,
F. H. Hefele; 1898, and but one year later new
beautiful stained glass windows were put up to give the
renovation a finishing touch.
Father Joseph Goebel was the organizer of the
congregation, and remained in charge of it till 1871. when
he was succeeded by Rev. Henry. Daniel. In 1873,
Rev. Nicholas Eifermann, a pious and energetic priest,
was appointed pastor and he fulfilled his duties most
successfully until his demise, June 24, 1893. Since that
time the Rev. Henry Daniel has
reassumed the pastoral charge of the congregation.
St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church, Rheine.—This
church is located near the southwest corner of section 36,
Dinsmore township, three miles east of Botkins, on the
Botkins pike. With about twenty families, Father
Henry J. Muckerheide started a congregation in
1856, and held divine service for them in the schoolhouse
of sub district No. 1, Dinsmore township, until another
and more spacious building could be erected. At a cost of
about $2,100 the newly organized congregation reared a new
church of brick structure 50 by 40 feet, and in the autumn
of 1858 Rev. H. J. Muckerheide was already enabled
to dedicate it to the service of the Most High. In the
spring of 1893 the cornerstone for a new church was laid,
and on Christmas following it was successfully completed.
The beautiful edifice as it now greets the eye of the
traveler is a massive, yet handsome, brick building of 80
by 43 feet, which had been erected at a cost of $12,400.
The solemn strains of bells invite all to enter its
hallowed walls. Moreover, new altars, and the excellent
frescoing by F. H. Hefele have embellished the
interior aspect, while a new furnace has helped to
increase the comfort of the church. Most Rev.
Archbishop Henry W. Elder, of Cincinnati, dedicated
the new building with grand ceremonies, August 26, 1894. A
two-story brick schoolhouse, 48 by 36 feet, was erected in
1878 at a cost of about $1,800.
Several fraternal orders have lodges in Botkins.
Botkins Lodge No. 903, I. O. O. F., organized four years
ago, has now between fifty and sixty members. They hold
regular meetings in their own hall.
The Rebecca Lodge, I. O. O. F., has been established
for the last three years and holds meetings in the Odd
Summit Camp No. 131, Woodmen of the World, was
established here six years ago and now numbers forty
members. They also have a hall for meeting purposes.
The Knights of St. John, a Catholic order, was instituted
in Botkins fifteen years ago and have their own hall.
The Catholic Knights of America, a Catholic insurance
order, flourishes under the auspices
of the "Catholic church. The members meet at. the Knights
of St. John hall.
TABLE OF CONTENTS >
- History of Shelby County - Publ. 1913 -